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we'll see you back here monday, monday night for the premier of the documentary, "hubris, the selling of the iraq war". that does it for us. brand-new documentary, "hubris:selling the iraq war." good night. cruising for a bruising. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. as butch cassidy once asked "who are these guys," what a ratty bunch. they spend days holed up and bring down the president. they only have nasty words to spew about the people running it or hoping to. john mccain who's served the country so admirably has been
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angry. he's been saying enough of this when new allies gets out of hand. a combat vet at that. but the viciousness is something we haven't seen before because of its come by inbound nation of mccarthyism and weird connectedness, attacking chuck hagel because no one will give us info about the benghazi situation even though hagel wasn't in the government when it was happened. sick stuff and seems to be growing. the better he looks, the more these characters are determined to look. did you notice the smile, by the way, on john boehner's face sit behind the president on the state of the union. if you did, you're imagining things. so afraid of the hard-hating republicans that even boehner is scared to death of looking like he might like what the president
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is saying. let's go at it. our guests very joy read and michael steele former chair of the republican national committee. both very msnbc analysts and good ones. let's take a look at this. is this delay on the hagel vote about playing for time? well, "the new york times" reports today that anti-hagel groups right now are hoping for exactly that. quote, leaders of the group say they expect third efforts to include more phone calls, urging conservative voters to vote no. new efforts to unearth embarrassing details from mr. hagel's past, and potentially a new round of television advertisements pressuring democrats to drop their support for him. it used to be the president got his cabinet. now e you get the entire opposition party to the last man and woman voting against it in what i don't even know is one reason. if you ask all the republicans, what do you do to filibuster this, they won't give you an
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answer. each will come up with his or her little number. >> because there's no reason to filibuster this nomination. the president has made his choice. he's coming off a very, very strong election. and as much as i may have an issue here or there that hagel said in the past, this is the president's choice. he's ultimately going to be responsible to the president, not the public and congress. i think mccain put it out there. this is personal. it's not political. it's that this man bucked the party in 2007 in his views on the war. i think legitimately so. and the fact of the matter is, so what? >> so in other words, he can't be barack obama's defense chief because he can't agree with the war. president obama and chuck hagel agree on so many things they're actually friends.
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they have a positive view about the same things in the world. i think the president is sticking his neck out for this guy because he really wants him to be his defense chief that and somebody pointed out to me that mccain said he made the statement back when he was a republican, as if he's no longer a republican because he dares to agree with the guy hiring him to be the defense chief. >> dwight eisenhower wasn't a republican either because he wasn't a hawk. he took the heat for that because he was a guy who knew what's going on with the war. >> you're not officially a republican if you don't want to bomb iran. john mccain put it out there and said, basically, you know what? he was mean to president bush, he criticized the iraq war. his fellow members of the senate thought he was not a fellow republican. that's rich from john mccain who made it hit life's work to
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oppose him. >> is that chuck hagel who fathered a child and his wife who was a drug addict? yet he forgives those people. >> that's right. >> and he says -- i don't know. this must be some kind of weird draps poration or transportation of emotion. he exposed really what's behind his opposition to hagel. let's listen. >> there's a lot of ill will toward senator hagel because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush mer mercilously and was very anti-his own party and people. people don't forget that.
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>> well, he should have forgot the fact because he never said he was the worst president since -- by the way, who put him in charge of determining chuck hag hagel? according to the weathercast post minority leader mitch mcconnell has deputized he seems to drift. on sunday mccain had this to say about the prospect of a filibuster against hagel. let's watch. >> wi've never filibustered a presidential cabinet appointee, and i don't think we should start here. >> he sarksd quote, i believe he had fulfilled the rigorous requirements that the committee demands and by tuesday he rebuked ted cruise for his harsh critique of hagel.
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he agreed. take a look at this. >> hagel is an honorable man and has served on the committee and no one should impugn his credibility. >> tuesday mccain introduced a new wrinkle. he wrote a letter to the white house requesting more information about what the white house did during the benghazi attack. he told "foreign policy magazine," quote, we need to know what the president's conversations were. i would vote no on thursday to disclosure unless the information is provide. by tuesday, or almost every day of the week, he said the president has responded to his satisfaction. but he didn't vote for closure. here's his latest. watch. >> there are still questions outstanding. i believe that senators have the
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right to have those questions answered. the senators and i had questions today. but there are other questions. >> like can you give us a copy of every speech you every gave krks you give us a dollar-for-dollar assessment for every dollar you made? by ta way, if you don't, we're going to accuse you. and joy, by the way, you're younger than i am by many, many years. we went back and looked at the innuendo. i don't know what he's running for. people say attorney general. i don't know why he's -- >> yeah, he's not running for president because i think he was born in canada. you said earlier in your introduce, chris, that john mccain occasionally remember
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wlos he is. i'm starting to agree with joe klein. this is a man whoo john mccain is. he has turn on his supplying poelsed friend chuck hagel and coat of arms in a matter of hours in this effort to drum up dirt on this go t poorl man who has been through enough at this point in terms of trying to get barack obama the defense secretary they want. they've gooned kelly in. they have no precedent for it other than saying we're going to torture this guy because he didn't like the iraq war. >> we'll know his true color whaens this right wing crowd eve eventually turns on his friend and you fwhoe they will. and they'll go to graham in the next primary fight and he'll have to stand up for his friend.
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thank you joy read and michael steele. are you now or have you ever been? this week ted cruise of texas says he'd be very comfortable having those words spill out of his mouth. plus, can president obama beat the nra. wayne lapierre's rantings are easy to lampoon but he may have the support and votes to block any kind of real gun legislation and them's the facts. also illinois has become closer to being the next state to approve gay marriage. guess what, for once i think they're right. and water-gate, marco rubio's water bottle ilk may be there to haunt him for years. this is "hardball," the place for politics. laying ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life.
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we saw with his nomination something truly amazing. i would suggest to you that to my knowledge that is unprecedented to see a foreign nation like iran publicly celebrating a nomination. >> just watching that reminded me of mccarthy. welcome back to "hardball." that's just a sample of ted cruz's comments. as reuters reported the spokesman responded we hope there will be practical changes
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in foreign american policy and washington will become respectful of the rights of nations. not exactly. it reminds us of another senator, joe mccarthy. see if you agree, however. a month after his famous 1954 "see it now" broadcast in which he exposed mccarthy's tactics, he asked him to respond. here mccarthy uses a famous tv review in a communist newspaper to connect him to communism. let's listen. >> but take 30 seconds or so and look further and see who's giving comfort to our inmys. here's from march, all attacking mccarthy and the same issue is
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mr. murrow's program as one of tonight's best bets on tv. >> well, also that week senator cruz -- this week cruz took another opportunity to say that he may have received -- catch this. may have received $200,000 from of all places north korea. i dome think north korea has $200,000. let's listen. >> it may be that he spoke at grou groups or anti-israel groups. we do not know. he could not even say the $200,000 he received did not cob directly from a foreign government and the question is have you been paid directly by a foreign government i would suggest is every bit as relevant to know if that $200,000 from a foreign government. it may be perfectly appropriate. we might find that it's reasonable or relevant but at minimal we need to know if it
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came directly from saudi arabia, came directly from north korea. >> in his 1953 hearing, senator mccarthy tried by insinuating that his choice of legal representative 20 years earlier made him suspect. let's listen. >> did the civil liberties union provide you with an attorney at that time? >> i had monies and one of those was the civil liberties, union, yes. >> the question is did they supply you an attorney. >> yes. >> the answer is yes? >> the answer is yes. >> mr. chairman, it was 1932. >> yes, i know it was 1932. do you know that they have been
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listed as a communist party? >> i do not know that. >> have you heard that? >> i have heard that. >> we see some similarities in these two senators. wayne, i saw it this week, i saw the way he sits there in that indictive manner, unless you tell us where you got that from, it came from north korea. i'm sorry. how do you make comments like that when everybody knows they don't have a nick toll rub together. who would you speak to in north korea? just throwing it out. then he has to deny it. then he denies being an agent of north korea. he even looks like mccarthy the way he does. >> he does. you know, this is six degrees of separation way of asking questions, an old emploploy, an
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it's done recklessly, it can cause damage. it's not to find out something, a piece of information. it's to plan a false idea. maybe you got the money from a foreign source, a muslim cal. when you look at it, i think in the earl weeks of ted cruz's tenure, i think it invites the idea that he might look a little like joe mccarthy. >> you know, the comparison there, nia, with the way they connected him, they had an aclu lawyer 21 years before. that's nonsense. that's what they do. to make that sort of weird connection that somehow this guy is a comy, this is what this guy
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is doing. look at this. they would like to see somebody who wasn't a super hawk coming in as defense secretary, that somehow makes him the best friend they had over there. look at the look on his face. he looks like mccarthy look the way he does this thing. go ahead. >> you know -- i mean he's a harvard-trained lawyer. he went to princeton. he's a debate champion. i don't think any of this sort of innuendo and guilt by association would fly in a courtroom. i think in ted cruz you have someone who's a jim demint with an attack dog. he's a tea party favorite. if you look at the national review, they very much like his style, but, again, i think in some ways it certainly reflected what republicans are hoping to do next week and that is further chip away at hagel and hope that
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something will stick and a another shoe will drop. up next, marco rubio's big gulp might define him in the future. this is on the sideshow. this is going to be fun. this is "hart ball," the place for politics. chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for motorcycle insurance.
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this is going to be fine. when marco rubio made a grab for his water bottle, i merely thought, okay, he's now going to be forever known as the thirsty one. it's too early to know if it ever will stick for him but it wouldn't be the first time. for example, plenty of politicians became that guy.
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you'll no what i i'm talking about as soon as you hear these names. michael dukakis. chances are you think of a photo op that tanked literally. it started out as an attempt to show that he was strong on defense when he visited a tank factory. what obviously backfired big time when the footage showed up in attack ads from his oh opponent her beb better walker bush, here he is, at not serious on defense. next, dan quayle. you might think of a classroom full of kids and a spelling test. >> spell that again now. add one little bit on the end. potato. there you go. >> i think he's confusing the singular with the plural. that one stuck around for so
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long it showed up against an attack ad with his son ben who lost a seat in the cincinnati. i don't know if those issues are connected. next, howard dean. >> not only are we going to we're going to north carolina, new mexico and california and texas and new york and we're going to south dakota oregon and washington and michigan and then we're going to washington, d.c., to take back the white house. >> well, it's not fair, not at all, but that became the moment in dean's 2004 presidential run. here are some clues. hurricane, the fema director, the 41st president. >> you're doing a heck of a job. the fema director is working 24
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-- they're work 24g hour as day. >> michael brown forever dubbed heck of a job, brownie. that's it. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. [ male announcer ] what are happy kids made of? bikes and balloons,
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